Memorial Day of 2017 will always be special at St. Benedict’s Emergency Shelter for Men.
Typically the shelter closes after breakfast and reopens right before dinner. However, the shelter decided to remain open for veterans that day, which provided an opportunity for staff members and volunteers to meet and interact with them. That interaction was the catalyst for the new transitional home that St. Benedicts will soon be opening.
St. Benedict’s shelter director, Harry Pedigo, found himself talking with a 71-year-old man. “This gentleman began and ended every sentence with ‘sir,’” Pedigo said. The man told Pedigo of the years he spent serving his country and how blessed he was to be at the shelter. He spoke about the decisions he made that landed him at the shelter. At the end of the conversation, he told Pedigo he wasn’t going anywhere because he knew God had his hands on him and St. Benedict’s. He also made a point to say he was “not giving up” and would “live every day with fire and ambition.” He told Pedigo his goal was to obtain a bed at one of the St. Benedict’s transitional homes. Pedigo was immediately “moved by the Spirit” to designate the next transitional home to be for Veterans.
That veteran transitional home is soon to become a reality. Friends of Sinners, a local substance recovery program, own a house at 1100 West 11th Street. They’ve agreed to sell it to St. Benedict’s.
On June 20, 2017, Pedigo and attorney Charlie Kamuf visited the Daviess County Property Valuation office to begin a deed search. The search turned up the previous owner of the home as Veteran’s Affairs. Pedigo said, “This was a revelation and a confirmation that God was moving in a bigger way than I imagined.”
This new transitional home is named the Honor Home, and is a nod to the vision Pedigo received the day they kept the shelter open all day and his conversation with a veteran.
Only veterans will be housed at the Honor Home. This house will assist four of them at a time in transitioning from homelessness to independence. It is scheduled to open in late fall of 2017 after modifications and renovations are completed to accommodate veterans.
If you or someone you know would be interested in donating their time, talents, resources, or funds for the renovations to the Honor Home, please call Pedigo at 270-315-4419, find him on Facebook, or visit the shelter’s website at stbenedictsowensboro.org.
Monetary donations can be specified for the Honor Home Fund. Funds raised or services donated may allow the shelter to open the house earlier than expected.
Pedigo said, “Please pray for us as we continue to meet the needs of the homeless and pray for the individuals seeking our assistance.”